Guest blog written by Haley V. Craft
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” —Luke 10:38-42
Faith is an interesting thing. Preparing to write this devotional, I grappled with what exactly faith is in our lives and how it functions. We know it is our shield to defend us against the enemy. We know it is believing in what you cannot see. We know it is powerful enough to move mountains, even in amounts as small as a mustard seed.
In some ways this last truth in particular makes faith more of a mystery. It’s convicting that faith so small can do so much, but many of us—myself included—rarely witness mountains being moved and mulberry trees being planted in the sea.
In my own life, I’ve found one significant difference between my faith and a mustard seed—the mustard seed never fades or flickers or disappears altogether. But the encouraging thing about mustard-seed faith is that, given the right conditions, it can grow.
So how do we make our mustard seed grow? In our busy lives it’s hard to find ways to intentionally stretch and grow our faith, but doing so can help prepare us for those days which make our faith start to flicker.
In Luke 10, Mary shows us one example of what intentionally stretching our faith looks like.
Her sister Martha is in the place so many of us find ourselves in, running around, distracted by all the things we are trying to cram into twenty four hours. But Mary does two very important things—she stops and she listens.
We don’t know if Jesus invited Mary to sit at His feet or if she sought Him out, but either way, she stretched her faith by making the decision to put aside her social duties in order to make time for the Messiah. But she didn’t just take a few moments to speak to Him, telling Him how her day had been and thanking Him for coming to see her. Instead, she chose to sit and listen.
This is huge. Mary isn’t listening like we might to a podcast while working. She has put aside everything else for as long as the Lord chose to speak to her.
It’s a spiritual double-whammy. First she had to have enough faith to choose to let the chores wait for a bit (which can be much more of a challenge than it sounds) and then she had to relinquish control of how long she was going pause. She didn’t tell Jesus, “Okay, I’ll take a break for five minutes to listen.” She just sat and listened.
How long has it been since we chose to let folding the laundry or doing the dishes wait so we could spend some time listening to Jesus through prayer and reading God’s Word? I encourage you to find some way to pause and listen for what Jesus has to say to you this week.
Maybe that means asking your husband to take the kids to the park so you can have some quiet time. Or maybe it means getting up a little earlier in the morning and meeting with our Savior then. Or something completely different. Whatever the strategy, let’s stop and listen for as long as the Lord wants to speak to us and see what wonders He reveals to us!
Haley V. Craft is a writer and a teacher who has been in denial about it her entire life. As a child she gave her stuffed animals quizzes and hoarded every bit of writing she produced beginning in the first grade. And yet, she knew she would never be a teacher and believed getting published was impossible. Haley has a Master’s degree in literature and has survived her seventh year of teaching high school English, but no learning experience has come close to the thrill of seeing her faith played out as God has taken every “there is no way” of the past decade and made it happen. Haley’s first book, a romance novella entitled Happily Even After, is scheduled to hit shelves this summer. For more devotionals about ways to intentionally stretch our faith, visit Haley’s Facebook page – facebook.com/HaleyVCraftauthor/ or visit Haley at haleyvcraftwriting.com
More on intentional faith: https://dogoodonlylife.com/whats-next-god/